For the first time in its 10-year-history, the Palmerton Area High School International Travel Club has traveled across "the Pond" to Europe.

SeƱor Elvir, Spanish teacher and club advisor, and a dozen students from the Palmerton Area flew British Air to London, took the chunnel by Eurostar to Paris, and slept on the night train to Madrid during a 10 day tour from June 16 to June 25. The tour, led by Education First Tours, was an unforgettable experience unlike any other.

While in London the Travel Club visited the weekend residence of Queen Elizabeth II, Windsor Palace. At Windsor, the Travel Club walked through St. George's Chapel and witnessed the changing of the guards. Other historical moments, like Big Ben and St. Paul's Cathedral, and more modern additions, like the Millennium Bridge and the London Eye, were also visited by the Travel Club.

After a few days in London, the Travel Club moved on to Paris. During the first evening in there, the Travel Club rode a series of elevators to the top of the Eiffel Tower to see the city sprawling all around. Among the places visited in Paris was Versailles, the palace of the last kings of France. Finally, what trip to Paris would be complete without a stopover at the Louvre to see the Mona Lisa? Of course there wasn't enough time to see all 35,000 pieces in the Louvre, but the Travel Club made the time to visit the Mona Lisa.

After a 14 hour train ride over night, the International Travel Club made it to Madrid. During the stay in the Spanish capital, the Travel Club took a side trip to Toledo, a picturesque city with a blended history of Muslim, Jewish, and Christian influences. While there, the Travel Club saw the most famous masterpiece by El Greco, "The Burial of Count Orgaz." Upon returning to Madrid, the Travel Club attended a Flamenco show. A traditional dance of Spanish culture, Flamenco involves intricate, but very quick, hand and foot movements.

The tour only lasted 10 days, but the members of the International Travel Club will remember their journey for the rest of their lives. The Travel Club saw and experienced many new and exciting things on the tour, but words cannot express the feeling of being submerged in cities of such historical and cultural significance.